With the development of information technology, computerized emergency operating procedures (EOPs) are taking the place of paper-based ones. However, ergonomics issues of computerized EOPs have not been studied adequately since the industrial practice is quite limited yet. This study examined the influence of step complexity and presentation style of EOPs on step performance. A simulated computerized EOP system was developed in two presentation styles: Style A: one- and two-dimensional flowcharts combination; Style B: two-dimensional flowchart and success logic tree combination. Step complexity was quantified by a complexity measure model based on an entropy concept. Forty subjects participated in the experiment of EOP execution using the simulated system. The results of data analysis on the experiment data indicate that step complexity and presentation style could significantly influence step performance (both step error rate and operation time). Regression models were also developed. The regression analysis results imply that operation time of a step could be well predicted by step complexity while step error rate could only partly predicted by it. The result of a questionnaire investigation implies that step error rate was influenced not only by the operation task itself but also by other human factors. These findings may be useful for the design and assessment of computerized EOPs. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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